City council approves budget for FY2015
The Columbia City Council voted unanimously last night to adopt the city manager’s budget for fiscal year 2015. The budget includes almost $429 million in spending and projects $399 million dollars in revenues.
Calling 2015 a “watershed year,” city manager Mike Matthes said the budget reflects the city moving forward from the recent economic recession. Included in the budget are an increase in the number of full time city employees, a two percent pay increase for permanent employees, and an increase in sewer connection fees for new development.
The council also approved several amendments to the budget including an increase in parking enforcement hours and fees, funding for CAT TV, an increase in electric utility rates, and a decrease in the number of trash bags provided to residents from three vouchers of 25 to two.
Not included in the budget are five potential ballot initiatives that could also impact the city’s finances. Two of those initiatives —a property tax increase to fund additional staff and equipment for the police and fire departments, and a development fee to fund new road construction—have already been approved by the council for voter consideration in November.
The city’s fiscal year begins October 1st.